There is lots of advice out there on how to lose weight, but what if you want to put on weight? There are many reasons why someone might want to put on a few pounds. For example, you may be coming out of a bad illness, and have lost a few pounds. Some people may also feel that they are too skinny, or that they want to gain muscle. Whether you are underweight or you find it hard to gain mass for the gym, the principles of how to gain weight remain the same.
What does it mean to be underweight?
If you have a BMI of under 18.5, this is defined as being underweight. You can get this figure by taking your mass in kilograms and dividing it by the square of your height in meters. It is only one measurement of body mass, but it provides a good starter for you to know if you are underweight, overweight or OK.
So before you go about putting on weight because you believe you are underweight, it is best to find out using a BMI calculation first. Even better, talk to your doctor, who can do a more thorough examination.
As BMI between 20 – 25 is considered to be optimum. Over 25 is overweight, and over 30 is obese.
However, there are some problems with BMI. It is a crude measurement that does not take into account factors like genetics and muscle mass.
Is being underweight a problem?
Being underweight can lead to a range of health problems including an increased risk of infection, osteoporosis in later life and a greater risk of fractures and fertility problems.
Underweight people may be at greater risk of muscle wasting as the age, and at a greater risk of developing dementia.
How To Gain Weight – Use Carbs And Fat To Pack On The Pounds
- Try to eat three big meals a day with plenty of carbs and fat.
- Energy dense food is your friend.
- Dried fruit like prunes, raisins, and dates.
- Nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, and almonds.
- High-fat dairy products like full-fat yogurt, cream, and cheese. Switch over to full-fat milk if you aren’t drinking it already.
- Meats like pork, beef, and lamb allow you to put on mass, especially if you choose fattier cuts.
- Potatoes and other tuber vegetables like yam and sweet potato.
- Avocado, coconut milk, peanut butter and dark chocolate.
One problem you may encounter with these energy dense foods is that they are incredibly filling. Sometimes you will need to keep eating, even if you are feeling full.
Avoid eating loads of vegetables at this time when gaining weight is a priority. It will just leave less room for the energy-rich foods.
Add sauces, condiments, and spices to these foods to make it easier to eat more.
How To Gain Weight – Consume More Energy Than You Burn
This is a pretty basic law. If you put in more calories than you use, then you will put on weight.
In order to work out how much energy you are burning throughout the day, use a calorie counter.
To gain weight in a slow and healthy way, then aim to consume 300-500 more calories that you need each day according to the calculator.
For fast weight gain, you will want around 700 -1000 calories above this maintenance level.
MyFitnessPal can be used to calculate the calories you are getting from food.
How To Gain Weight – Protein Is Your Friend
High protein foods like eggs, fish, nuts and meats are also what you should be eating. You can also use a protein supplement like whey protein if you find you struggle to get enough quality protein in your diet.
Proteins help to build muscle. If you want to put on weight in a healthy way, then gaining muscle mass is important as well as gaining fat.
You should try to get between 0.7 – 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight. Or, 1.5 – 2.2 kg of protein per Kg.
The only problem with protein, however, is that it is really filling.
If you are eating a protein-rich meal, you will find that your hunger goes away rapidly.
During a period when you are over-eating, getting a lot of protein in your muscle causes these extra calories to be converted into muscle.
How To Gain Weight – By Lifting Weight!
When you are consuming these excess calories, ideally you would like the extra calories to go to muscle cells instead of just fat tissue.
If you want this kind of results, then it is absolutely essential that you begin lifting weights during your high-calorie diet.
Basically, you should be going to the gym between 2 to 4 times a week. Use weight machines or find someone to help you use the free weights. Keep a record of what you can lift each time and try to increase the weights with time.
If you are a little out of shape, or it is your first time, then hiring a personal trainer is an excellent way to get started.
When you want to put on weight, don’t overdo the cardio exercises as this will just burn the calories you are trying hard to retain.
How To Gain Weight – Extra Tips
- If you want to maximize the amount you can eat at a meal, then don’t drink too much water beforehand, as this will make your stomach feel full.
- Replace water with milk when you are thirsty at home. That’s right – drinking whole milk to quench your thirst will allow you to pack on the pounds.
- Put cream in your coffee.
- Get 7 hours of good quality sleep for muscle development.
- Eat protein first and then your vegetables last. That way you make sure that you finish your protein and don’t fill up with low energy density vegetables.
So there you have it – eat all the stuff someone on a diet would avoid and do some weights!